Woodrose Avenue Sewer Replacement Project
Woodrose Avenue just got a brand new sewer! The outdated pipes lying 15 feet underground were removed and replaced with pipes that are expected to serve customers for decades to come. Learn about the process of replacing this sewer pipe and what it means for the community by watching the video above. 
Are you proud of your water efficient landscape? Enter the 2018 WaterSmart Landscape Contest for a chance to win a $250 gift certificate! Entries will be judged on overall attractiveness, design, methods of irrigation, plant selection and maintenance. Find out more and enter here!
Padre Profile: Mike Byerly
Who's that guy working on the side of the road in an orange T-shirt? It could be Padre Dam Utility Worker Mike Byerly. Mike is on the ground every day making sure that the community's water system is working by performing water service repairs, fixing main breaks and laying new installations. Most of the time, Mike can be found replacing aging valves.

"When we're out working, a lot of people automatically assume that something is wrong or that something's broken." Mike said. In fact most of what Mike does is replacing old, worn out materials to ensure that the system runs smoothly to prevent breaks.

Even during these routine replacements, scheduling is tight. Mike and the Padre Dam team do a lot of prep work before each project begins so that they can minimize the amount of time a customer's water is shut off. Another way they do this is by repairing and replacing pipes without actually digging them up. Using advanced tools and precise maneuvering, Padre Dam crews are able to cut open old pipe in the ground while laying new pipe. All this can typically be done with only one small trench at the end of the pipeline.

Once repairs are made, Mike's focus shifts to making sure that the new pipelines are safe to transport water to the families and businesses in the area. This is done through flushing, where water is run through the pipes to knock out any loose dirt or debris that may have fallen in during construction. The water then comes out a hose where water quality samples are taken.

"It is our number one priority to keep our customer's water at the highest water quality standards. We have to flush a lot of water out to make sure that nothing is in the pipe that could cause impacts to water quality." Mike explains that although it can look like water is being wasted, it's not. Flushing is a necessity in ensuring that the drinking water supply is safe for Padre Dam's customers.

When issues arise and there is a main break, Mike is on call 24/7 to stop the flow of water and repair the issue. This is especially challenging at night when dark conditions complicate digging around power and gas lines. Although emergencies do come up from time to time, Mike and the Padre Dam Operations team work hard to prevent infrastructure from breaking down. 

Mike's favorite part of working at Padre Dam is his co-workers. "I love the people I work with, we're able to work really efficiently and have fun at the same time. It's great." When he's not spending time with his family at the desert, Mike's hobbies include making things - especially with reclaimed metal. He is particularly proud of a watering can rooster he made with his ten-year-old son.

To Flush or Not to Flush?
Do you know what can and cannot be flushed down the toilet? Here's an easy way to remember. The only things that should be flushed down the toilet are the three P's, pee, paper (only toilet paper) and poop. It can be unpleasant to think about, but flushing anything else can cause serious sewer backups that can damage infrastructure and make unsanitary messes. 

One perfect sewer clogger is wipes. Even if the box says "flushable," these wipes often cause issues in sewers. And if they can cause issues in the Padre Dam sewer system, just think about what they could be doing to your household system! 

Other things to avoid flushing down the toilet include disposable diapers, paper towels and fats, oils & greases. Remember to stick to the 3 P's for optimal sewer safety. 
Water is Life Poster Contest
Calling all creative kids! Create a poster around the theme "Water is Life" and enter into the Padre Dam Poster Contest! Winning entries will receive recognition at Padre Dam's June 6 Board Meeting and may be sent on to the Metropolitan Water District's 2019 Poster Contest for a chance to be featured in the 2019 Water is Life Student Artwork Calendar. 

This contest is open to all kids in grades K-12 and entries can be submitted individually or as a class. For more information on guidelines and how to submit,  click here.